#LIMONI: LIQUID GOLD | PREM SAHIB
Walking along the streets of London, perhaps returning from work or in the early hours of the morning after an evening of celebrations, it would have been possible to pass in front of the windows of the Philida Reid Gallery and come across the urban intervention by Prem Sahib which transformed the gallery into a place to rediscover not inside, but rather outside. In fact, in 2016 the gallery, during a series of restorations and structural works, had remained closed, but this did not take away the possibility for the English artist to intervene with an environmental project in which a dense network of associations creates an alternative and unusual exhibition.
Liquid Gold (2016 – onwards) invades of the gallery space and its reflection on the streets of London: the artist exploiting the series of semi-transparent sheets, used at that time for the works in progress, and LED strips positioned at the windows covered with a yellow jelly, make the gallery explode. Yellow light is now reflected on the asphalt, in the other windows and on the adjacent buildings. The luminous installation becomes truly liquid and envelops the street in a surreal aura: Liquid Gold is a nocturnal sun that manages to overturn and rethink a traditional use of the gallery. The spectator therefore also becomes the passer-by, the collector as well as the drunk. Liquid Gold envelops space and people in an attempt to rewrite the coordinates of the fraction of art.
Furthermore, the title, enigmatic and seductive, leads one to think of a series of associations: in addition to putting together the materiality of gold, Sahib also hints at the market value of petroleum. Through words, the artist questions us about what it means to attribute value to one material rather than another, also leading us to reflect, in the very absence of materiality of his project, on how a certain value is attributed to an asset. Where does the fluidity and tangibility of a good reside? How is its value measured?
With Liquid Gold, the artist transforms space into a concept, simultaneously rethinking the gallery and the street and electing a democratization of the observer in favor of a value not given to the object or a consumer good, but to life itself. The gaze and the body as moments elevated to art.
Liquid Gold, 2016 – onwards
LED flood lights, yellow gels, active during nighttime hours, variable by season
© Image by Ben Westoby, courtesy the artist and Phillida Reid, London